Blacksmith, Civil War Veteran
Military Service: 57th Regiment, Pennsylvania Infantry, Company B
Pennsylvania-born Samuel Ralston (sometimes spelled Rolston) moved to Vienna some time after the Civil War, and it appears that the coal boom in the Township may have been the reason. In the 1880 Federal Census Ralston is listed as a blacksmith and his son, Samuel E., is listed as an 18-year-old coal miner.
The 57th Pennsylvania fought at Gettysburg.
Regimental History, 57th Pennsylvania Infantry
Overview:Organized at Harrisburg December 14, 1861. Left State for Washington, D. C., December 14. Attached to Jameson's Brigade, Heintzelman's Division, Army Potomac, to March, 1862. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 3rd Army Corps, Army Potomac, to August, 1862. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 3rd Army Corps, Army Potomac, to March, 1863. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 3rd Army Corps, to March, 1864. 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 2nd Army Corps, to June, 1865.
Service: Duty in the Defences of Washington, D. C., till March, 1862. Moved to the Virginia Peninsula March 16-18. Siege of Yorktown April 5-May 4. Skirmish Yorktown April 11. Battle of Williamsburg May 5. Battle of Fair Oaks, Seven Pines, May 31-June 1. Seven Days before Richmond June 25-July 1. Oak Grove June 25. Peach Orchard and Savage Station June 29. Charles City Cross Roads and Glendale June 30. Malvern Hill July 1. Duty at Harrison's Landing till August 16. Movement to Centreville August 16-26. Skirmish at Bull Run August 20. Pope's Campaign in Northern Virginia. Battles of Gainesville August 23; Groveton August 29; Bull Run August 30; Chantilly September 1. Guard fords from Monocacy River to Conrad's Ferry till October. March up the Potomac to Leesburg, thence to Falmouth, Va., October 11-November 19. Battle of Fredericksburg, Va., December 12-15. Burnside's 2nd Campaign, "Mud March," January 20-24, 1863. At Falmouth, Va., till April 27. Chancellorsville Campaign April 27-May 6. Battle of Chancellorsville May 1-5. Gettysburg (Pa.) Campaign June 11-July 24. Battle of Gettysburg, Pa., July 1-3. Pursuit of Lee July 5-24. Wapping Heights, Va., July 23. Duty on line of the Rappahannock till October. Bristoe Campaign October 9-22. Auburn and Bristoe October 13-14. Advance to line of the Rappahannock November 7-8. Kelly's Ford November 7. Mine Run Campaign November 26-December 2. Payne's Farm November 27. Veterans on furlough January to March, 1864. Rapidan Campaign May 4-June 12. Battles of the Wilderness May 5-7; Laurel Hill May 8; Spottsylvania May 8-12; Po River May 10; Spottsylvania C. H. May 12-21. Assault on the Salient May 12. Harris' Farm May 19. North Anna River May 23-26. Line of the Pamunkey May 26-28. Totopotomoy May 28-31. Cold Harbor June 1-12. Before Petersburg June 16-18. Siege of Petersburg June 16, 1864, to April 2, 1865. Weldon Railroad June 22-23, 1864. Demonstration north of the James at Deep Bottom July 27-29, and August 13-20. Strawberry Plains, Deep Bottom, August 14-18. Ream's Station August 25. Poplar Springs Church September 29-October 2. Boydton Plank Road, Hatcher's Run, October 27-28. Expedition to Weldon Railroad December 7-12. Consolidated to five Companies January 11, 1865. Dabney's Mills, Hatcher's Run, February 5-7. Appomattox Campaign March 28-April 9. Boydton Road March 30-31. Fall of Petersburg April 2. Sailor's Creek April 6. High Bridge, Farmville, April 7. Appomattox C. H. April 9. Surrender of Lee and his army. At Burkesville till May. March to Washington D. C., May 2-12. Grand Review May 23. Duty at Alexandria till June. Mustered out June 29, 1865.
Regiment lost during service 12 Officers and 149 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 217 Enlisted men by disease. Total 378.